Lung Cancer Screening
Why Screen for Lung Cancer?
Screening increases the chance of diagnosing lung cancer at an early stage when it is more likely to be cured. Screening can also lead to identification of other treatable tobacco related disease such as emphysema and heart disease.
Why Picking the Right Center for Lung Cancer Screening Matters
Dan Raz, M.D., M.A.S., co-director of City of Hope's Lung Cancer and Thoracic Oncology Program, on why it matters where you have your lung cancer screening done.
For More Information
Please contact us if you have questions regarding the program. Referring providers can fax or email consultation request directly to us:
Program Direct Line: 626-218-9410
Program Fax: 626-471-7215
City of Hope is an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and Screening Centers of Excellence committed to a multidisciplinary approach to lung cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment.
Who is Eligible?
Age 55 to 77, and are either current smokers or have quit smoking within the last 15 years, at least a 30 pack-year smoking history.
You may qualify for a lung cancer screening if you are outside of these criteria or have additional risk factors. Please call us at 626-218-9410 to discuss
How is Lung Cancer Screening performed?
The only screening test proven to effectively reduce death from lung cancer is a high resolution computed tomography (CT) scan of the chest. The scan captures images of the entire chest cavity during a single breath.
Is Lung Cancer Screening Covered by Insurance?
LDCT screening for lung cancer is covered by many health insurance plans as “Essential Health Benefit” including Medicare.
What if the Screening is Positive?
Approximately 15 percent of all lung cancer screens will identify a lung nodule, but 90 percent of those will be benign and will not require treatment. If the screen is positive, an appointment will be made with the program nurse practitioner or a thoracic or pulmonary physician, to discuss the findings and any additional testing that may be necessary.
What if Screening is Negative?
If the screen is negative, a scan should be repeated in one year.
Prevention is Key!
If you are a current smoker and choose to participate in the screening program, you will be required to participate in a smoking cessation program.
What are the Risks of LDCT?
- Risk of radiation
The low-dose CT scan (1mSv) used at City of Hope for lung cancer screening uses far less radiation than the standard CT scans, and is slightly higher than the radiation dose used in a standard mammogram. We use some of the most advanced equipment and techniques to enable the lowest radiation dose for your CT scan. Although radiation may increase your risk of developing certain cancer, for those at high risk for lung cancer, the value of screening far outweighs the minimal risks of radiation.
- Anxiety about positive results
Please keep in mind that nine out of 10 nodules found in lung cancer screening are not cancerous. When lung cancer is found early on a screening test, it can usually be cured.
- Additional diagnostic tests for initial positive screen result
You may have procedures such as a biopsy or surgery for nodules that are not cancerous. These procedures carry risks which will be explained to you if they are required.